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Be Informed About These Symptoms of Kidney Stones

Story at-a-glance

  • Early symptoms of kidney stones won’t occur until these move within your kidney or pass into the ureter
  • You should consult a physician should these symptoms appear, but most especially if these severe symptoms of kidney stones in men and women occur

Kidney stones have a sharp texture that’s similar to crystalline,1 and can be as small as a grain of sand or grow to the size of a pearl or even a golf ball.2

Early symptoms of kidney stones won’t occur until the stones move within your kidney or pass into the ureter (the tube connecting the kidney and bladder).3 You may feel intense pain when kidney stones pass through your urinary tract.

Kidney stone pain is often located on one side of the back or on the lower abdomen.4 However, discomfort may vary either in location or degree, especially when the stone/s move through the urinary tract. These are the common signs of kidney stones:5

Severe pain in the side and back and below the ribs

Pain spreading to the lower abdomen and groin

Pain arising in waves and fluctuating in intensity

Pain while urinating

Pink, red, brown or cloudy or foul-smelling urine

Nausea and vomiting

Constant need to urinate

Urinating more than usual, or in just small amounts

Fever and chills (if an infection is present)

You should consult a physician should these indicators appear, but most especially if these severe signs of kidney stones in men and women occur:6

Severe pain that prevents the patient from sitting still

Pain accompanied with nausea and vomiting or fever and chills

Presence of blood in the urine

Difficulty in passing urine

Tests That Diagnose Kidney Stones

According to the Mayo Clinic, there are four diagnostic methods to help you know and check if you have kidney stones:7

Blood testing: This examines if the blood contains too much calcium or uric acid. Results help monitor kidney health and can prompt your doctor to check for other medical conditions.

Urine testing: A 24-hour urine collection test will determine if you’re releasing too many stone-forming minerals or too little stone-preventing substances. A physician may request the patient do two urine collections in two days.

Imaging: Imaging tests to check kidney stones that may be lodged in the urinary tract are:

Abdominal X-rays (although these can miss small kidney stones)

High-speed or dual energy computerized tomography (CT)


Non-invasive test

Intravenous urography wherein dye is injected into an arm vein, and as the dye moves through the kidneys and bladder, X-rays (intravenous pyelogram) or CT images (CT urogram) might be produced

Analysis of passed stones: Patients will urinate through a strainer to catch kidney stones. The stones will be analyzed in a laboratory to determine their composition, and the results will help determine the cause of these stones and make treatment protocols.


Kidney Stones: Introduction

What Are Kidney Stones?

Kidney Stones Types

Kidney Stones Causes

Kidney Stones Symptoms

Kidney Stones Prevention

Kidney Stones Duration

Kidney Stones Treatment

Kidney Stones Surgery

Kidney Stones Diet

Kidney Stones FAQ

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Kidney Stones Prevention

Sources and References

  • 1 Crosta, “Kidney Stones: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments,” Medical News Today, January 9, 2017
  • 2, 4 The Healthline Editorial Team and Marcin, “Symptoms of Kidney Stones,” Healthline, June 24, 2016
  • 3, 5, 6 Mayo Clinic Staff, “Kidney Stones Symptoms,” Mayo Clinic, February 26, 2015
  • 7 Mayo Clinic Staff, “Kidney Stones Tests and Diagnosis,” Mayo Clinic, February 26, 2015
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